12 People Who Left Their Partners At The Altar Explain Why They Did It

It often seems like one of those things that only happens in the movies, but being left at the altar does periodically occur in real life, too. Indeed, a Reddit thread from earlier this year not only proves that it does happen, but also addresses some of the many reasons why it happens. In the thread, Redditor u/Roxanne357 asked, “Redditors who have left your fiancé at the altar, why did you do it and what happened?” — and as the 2000 comments garnered by the post by the time it was archived and locked can attest, it happens more often and for more complex reasons than you might think.

Now, it’s worth noting that this topic was posted without a “Serious” tag, which means that it’s likely (well, more likely, at least) that a lot of the stories within the thread aren’t real. Furthermore, as is wont to happen in AskReddit threads, the parameters of the prompt got stretched a little bit by respondents. Not all of the stories involve someone literally being left at the altar; a lot of them feature weddings getting called off shortly in advance of the day. What’s more, a number of the stories come not from the folks who did the leaving, but from people who were left or people who bore witness to the leaving.

Also, I would argue that although what we’ve come to call “ghosting” is often a rude, mean, or cruel thing to do — particularly when you’re ghosting on a long-term or serious relationship (are you listening, guy who ghosted his live-in partner of three years and who later ended up with her as his boss? ) — there are some cases in which vanishing without a trace is the right move, even if it happens the day of a wedding: If you’re trying to get out of an abusive relationship, for example, up and leaving without leaving a clue of where you’re going is typically the safest course of action. Indeed, some of the stories in this Reddit thread involve people successfully escaping their abusers — and that is a very good thing indeed.

In a reasonable relationship between reasonable people, I’d hope that all parties would be able to at least, y’know, tell each other they want to call of a wedding. But if there’s one thing I know about life, it’s that unreasonable people do not operate via the same conventions and logic that everyone else does, and, well… these are often the results.

Here are 12 reasons people have given for ending a relationship on or shortly before a wedding. Head on over to AskReddit for more.

1Because The Relationship Was Toxic

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This is a good reason not to marry someone.

2Because The Couple Had Different Expectations For The Marriage

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At least everyone was upfront about what they did and didn’t want from the would-be marriage.

3Because The Groom Was Cheating

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And not just cheating, at that — serially cheating. (To be clear, it's not the sex addiction that's the deal breaker here; it's the nine years of repeated infidelity and all of the lying and everything else that went along with it.)

4Because The Bride Was Cheating

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Also not great.

5Because Of A “Joke” That Really Wasn’t A Joke

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Have you read The Gift Of Fear? This is exactly the kind of intuition that book teaches you to trust.

6Because Of An Important Realization

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There is no single “right” reason to get married — but there are wrong reasons, and being more interested in marriage in general than marriage with that specific person is one of them. As Amy puts it in Company, “You have to want to marry somebody — not just some body.” Having this realization and breaking it off before actually going through with the ceremony is really the best thing you can do in this situation.

7Because Of A GPS Gaffe

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BUT DID YOU EVER EVENTUALLY GET MARRIED?

(Note: I suspect this one may not be authentic, but it’s pretty funny all the same.)

8Because Half The Couple Didn’t Really Want To Get Married

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That is… not a great way to handle it on the groom’s part, but at least it all worked out for everyone in the end.

9Because… Well, No One Really Knows

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Presumably he realized he didn’t want to get married — either more generally, or specifically to this Redditor’s sister — but I would argue that in this case, an explanation would have been… courteous.

10Because The Groom Was Already Married

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Well, that’s a big ol’ pile of nope.

11Because It Wasn’t The Right Time

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Right people, wrong time. Now it looks like the right people have also found the right time, so hoorah for that!

12Because Of A Big Misunderstanding

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And by “misunderstanding,” I mean, “no one actually left anyone; there was just some trouble with some whisky.” So, I mean, hey, at least this one is a memorable wedding story, right?